Nigeria backs calls for direct election for ECOWAS Parliamentarians


By SINL Reporter

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said on Tuesday that Nigeria is in support of the calls for an electoral arrangement that will provide direct election for representations at the West African regional parliament otherwise known as ECOWAS Parliament.

“We are in support of creating an ECOWAS Parliament that has members that will be directly elected into the parliament so that the ordinary people will have a complete attachment with those that represent them in ECOWAS Parliament,” Lawan said.

He spoke while playing host to the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Niger, Hon. Seini Oumarou who led some of his Honourable colleagues on a courtesy visit the Senate President.

Lawan said the current arrangement, in which parliament from each member-country sends representations, is working but “we hope that there will be an improvement over the arrangement to ensure that the ECOWAS sub-region is in such a manner and form that our Parliament, when it sits, will be giving us resolutions that will be useful in every part of the ECOWAS countries.”

The Senate President told his guests that the ECOWAS Parliament is truly representatives of the people in the sub-region and urged other parliaments in the sub-region to continue to support the ECOWAS Parliament to perform its functions.

Lawan said Nigeria and Niger had a very long history of relations which dated back to pre-independence period adding that the peoples in the two countries share many things in common.

“A formal relationship was established in 1960 and we cherish this very good relation…The affinity between our two countries is very deep and we  really cherish that. We take it very seriously that we will continue to be good neighbours,” Lawan said.

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The Senate President spoke on the bilateral cooperation and some key projects like the rail project initiated to facilitate trade and economic activities between the two countries.

On the multilateral relations such as the involvement in the Multinational Joint Task Force which is in place to fight insurgency in the Lake Chad Region, Lawan seized the opportunity to appreciate the effort, cooperation and support of the Republic of Niger.

“We believe that together we can finish the insurgency in our region. We should continue to be determined that this war with insurgents is something our countries can win and that we will continue to support each other,” Lawan said.

Earlier, the visiting Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Niger, Hon. Seini Oumarou said he and his delegation were just on a courtesy visit to the National Assembly.

He said that it is imperative to explore the good relationship between Nigeria and Niger to the betterment of the two peoples.


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